Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has backed duo Mark Reynolds and Peter Pawlett to make an impact after they were called into Gordon Strachan’s squad to play Nigeria.
Dons defender Reynolds and attacking midfielder Pawlett were added to Strachan’s squad for the game at Fulham’s Craven Cottage on May 28.
The former under-21 internationals were called up for the first time after Wigan pair James McArthur and Gary Caldwell, West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans and Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher all pulled out.
Dons supporters have called for the pair to be included following their displays for the Reds this season and McInnes is confident they will do well in the dark blue of the national team.
He said: “I’m delighted for both and it’ll be a great boost to them as well as an indication as to how much they have improved as players.
“I’m sure they’ll go on to do well and I’m confident this will be the first of many call-ups for both Mark and Peter.”
With the Dons due to report back on June 12 for pre-season training ahead of their first Europa League match on July 3, Pawlett and Reynolds will have a short break thanks to the extended season.
But McInnes is confident all his players will cope with the early return next month.
He said: “The players will only get the best part of four weeks of a break, so they shouldn’t lose too much fitness. It is important they recuperate and recover as the demand is going to be big on us next season.
“We won’t have as many games as we usually have but we will try to get three games played and some bounce matches, too.
“A lot of clubs use Europe as part of their pre-season preparation but it would be foolish of us to do that.
“We’re not going to be in a position of having six or seven games to prepare us but it’s important physically we are ready for the first game.”
Defeat by Motherwell on Sunday resulted in the Dons losing two weeks of their summer break but McInnes is not concerned by the earlier than normal return to action.
He said: “The nature of how the game panned out on Sunday was a really sore one to take and we cannot pretend otherwise.
“It finished with such an anticlimax and the players deserved better than to finish the season on the wrong end of a poor decision.
“I get the feeling people worry we are coming back early but we’re back in Europe and it’s important we should enjoy that.”